LONDON MAIDEN FLIGHT: How we fought restriction of Air Peace return flight to rejected part of MMIA — Onyema

Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Dr Allen Onyema, said yesterday that when his airliner returned from its maiden flight to London, some staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, tried to restrict its landing to a rejected part of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos, far from the new terminal.
Onyema noted that such an action would have exposed passengers to difficulties, saying it would have taken them up to nine hours to get to the terminal building.
Speaking on The Morning Show, an Arise TV programme, he said despite the fact that gate C-23 at the new terminal was inactive, the officials chose to reserve it for a foreign carrier at the expense of an indigenous airline.


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His words: “When our aircraft landed, thank God I was there because this thing had happened before. Let me excuse the leadership of FAAN, Mrs Olubunmi Kuku; and the Director of Air Operations, Captain Abdullahi Mahmood, both doing fantastically well.

“The wickedness in the system is stinking. The only carrier doing international operations in Nigeria landed and it was kept somewhere in the bush, a disused side of the airport. They expect us to use rickety buses to take international passengers to the new terminal which the international airlines rejected when it was opened.

“For those on that plane which landed yesterday (Sunday), it would have taken about six hours for people to exit the airport. They put us near Nigerian Aviation Handling Company, NAHCO, which is very far. And nobody is using that end. No aircraft, not even foreign or local. Meanwhile, Gate C-23 at the new terminal was opened.

“When my captain called, he said it was reserved for a foreign airline at the expense of a Nigerian airline. Our aircraft, coming from London, was to be packed in one bush about two kilometres to our terminal.

”Can you imagine the time it would take us to take people from there to the terminal building? It would have taken about nine hours and Nigerians would have hated Air Peace because they wouldn’t know.”

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